The Pittsburgh Pirates have to be thrilled about the success the organization had in 2013. Obviously, the team wishes they were still playing, but nonetheless, it was a far more successful season than in years past. At this point, it is imperative the Pirates begin thinking about the 2014 season and what needs to be done to improve so that the organization can take it a step further.
“We will evaluate why we fell short of our ultimate goal and do everything in our power to keep this organization moving forward,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said, according to Pirates.com. “We’ll explore the free-agent market, trades, how to maximize the progression of guys coming out of our [Minor League] system.”
The good news is a lot of the pieces that directly contributed to the team’s first winning season since 1992 will continue to be a part of the puzzle in the ensuing years. That means Pittsburgh needs to concentrate on how the roster can be tweaked so that they can extend their season next year. It is not as if the Pirates must figure out to replace departing players or figure out a way to rebuild, they simply have to find some weak links on the team and upgrade them.
One of the biggest areas that Pittsburgh can improve, along with almost every other team in the big leagues, is the starting rotation. It will certainly impact the Pirates greatly if free agent A.J. Burnett decides his career has come to an end. Even though the organization has to figure out what to do with their seven free agents, I believe the starting rotation is a good area to begin the offseason process.